2017 Gala Award Recipients


Vision and Venture Award

John Kelly
SVP of Cognitive Solutions and IBM Research
IBM Corporation

Dr. John Kelly is focused on IBM’s investments in several of the fastest growing and most strategic parts of the technology market, including IBM Watson and Cloud Platform, IBM Watson Health, IBM Watson Internet of Things, IBM Watson Customer Engagement and IBM Security. He is also responsible for IBM Research and the company’s Intellectual
Property team.

Previously, Dr. Kelly and his team were responsible for advancing the science of cognitive computing through his support for Watson, the groundbreaking system that defeated two Jeopardy champions in 2011. He joined IBM in 1980, holding numerous positions related to the development and manufacture of advanced semiconductor technologies.

Dr. Kelly holds a bachelor’s in physics from Union College, and a master’s in physics and a doctorate in materials engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, plus three honorary doctoral degrees.

Distinguished Leadership Award

Jennifer Morgan
Executive Board Member and President, Americas and Asia Pacific Japan SAP

Jennifer Morgan is responsible for SAP’s strategy, revenue and customer success in the Americas and Asia Pacific Japan, regions encompassing more than 43,000 employees and nearly 230,000 customers. Jennifer was appointed to the SAP Executive Board in 2017, and, together with Adaire Fox-Martin, leads SAP’s Global Customer Operations. She is a principal driver of SAP’s growth and innovation strategies and works closely with SAP’s development and support leaders to ensure consistent execution of sales and customer operations in the more than 130 countries in which the company operates.

In addition to being a member of the Executive Board, Jennifer serves as president of SAP North America, where she has sharpened the region’s focus on growth and innovation and helps preserve a culture that earned SAP North America its first listing on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list.

Creative Entrepreneurship Award

Frans Johansson
Founder & CEO
The Medici Group

Frans Johansson is the founder and CEO of The Medici Group, where he advises executive leadership from some of the world’s largest companies (including 30 percent of the Fortune 100), as well as startups, venture capital firms, government agencies and universities. Johansson founded a software company, an international healthcare firm, and a hedge fund. He is also author of two books — The Medici Effect and The Click Moment — and has spoken to audiences on six continents, in virtually every industry, and across disciplines on the message that diversity drives innovation.

Raised in Sweden by his African-American/Cherokee mother and Swedish father, Frans has lived all his life at the intersection. He holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Brown University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School.

Seidenberg Family Top of the Ladder Award

More than 3,500 students have worked as Explainers at NYSCI, moving up the rungs of the Science Career Ladder toward successful careers in STEM. Ninety-five percent of Explainers go on to college, compared to just 39 percent for an age-comparable New York City cohort, and 70 percent pursue careers in STEM. The Seidenberg Family Top of the Ladder Award celebrates the work that all NYSCI Explainers do, and most importantly, recognizes individuals who go above and beyond to support NYSCI’s mission.


Yessenia Bautista has been in NYSCI’s Science Career Ladder for five years, starting as an Explainer intern. Today, she serves as the digital design fellow for math and technology after-school workshops and camps for English language learning students. Over the years, she has demonstrated leadership, motivation, engagement and growth, both in her personal experience, and professionally in support of her peers in the program, visitors to the museum, and particularly to the English language learners in the community.

Previous Award Recipients


Guy Chiarello
First Data

Leonard Schleifer, M.D., Ph.D.,
Founder, President and CEO
George Yancopoulos, M.D., Ph.D.
Founding Scientist and CSO
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Ayah Bdeir
Founder and CEO


Bob Greifeld

David Karp
Founder and CEO


Denise L. Ramos
President and CEO
ITT Corporation

Jeanne M. Sullivan
StarVest Partners


Glenn Britt
Chairman and CEO
Time Warner Cable

Osamu Nagata
President and CEO
Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing North America


Ajay Banga
President and CEO

Jes Staley
Chairman, Corporate and Investment Bank
J.P. Morgan


accepted by Alfred Spector
Vice President, Research and Special Initiatives

Kevin Parker
Global CEO
Deutsche Bank Asset Management

John Slaughter
Former President and CEO
National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering


Prof. Salim T.S. Al-Hassani
Foundation for Science, Technology & Civilisation

Jack Hughes
Founder and Chairman
TopCoder, Inc.

William C. Rudin
Vice Chairman and CEO
Rudin Management Company, Inc.


Dr. Peter L. Salk
Vice President and Scientific Director
Jonas Salk Foundation

Linda S. Sanford
Senior Vice President, Enterprise Transformation
IBM Corporation


Paula S. Apsell
Senior Executive Producer NOVA, Director of Science Unit

Francisco D’Souza
President and CEO
Cognizant Technology Solutions Corporation

Mike S. Zafirovski
President and CEO
Nortel Networks


John T. Chambers
Chairman and CEO
Cisco Systems

Marguerite and Joshua Lederberg

Judy C. Lewent
Retired Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Merck & Co., Inc.

Catherine A. Rein
Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer


Corning Incorporated
accepted by James R. Houghton and Amory Houghton Jr.

William T. Golden

Steven R. Loranger
Chairman, President and CEO
ITT Corporation

Patricia F. Russo
Chairman and CEO
Lucent Technologies


Ursula M. Burns
President, Business Group Operations
Xerox Corporation

Sallie L. Krawcheck
Chief Financial Officer


Red Burns
Professor and Chair of Interactive Telecom Program
Tisch School of the Arts
New York University

Gerald L. Hassell
The Bank of New York Company, Inc.

Fred Wilpon
Chairman and CEO
New York Mets


John S. Hendricks
Founder, Chairman and CEO
Discovery Communications, Inc.

Donald H. Layton
Vice Chairman
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.

Sir Howard Stringer
Chairman and CEO
Sony Corporation of America
Vice Chairman
Sony Corporation


Nicholas M. Donofrio
Senior Vice President, Technology & Manufacturing
IBM Corporation

Karen L. Katen
Pfizer Global Pharmaceuticals

David A. Macaulay


Alan Alda

David H. Komansky
Chairman and CEO
Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc.


Thomas H. Glocer
Reuters Information and Reuters America Inc.

Paul M. Horn
Senior Vice President, Research
IBM Corporation

Herb Scannell
Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite


Paul A. Allaire
Xerox Corporation

John A. Roth
President and CEO
Nortel Networks

Honorable Claire Shulman
Borough of Queens


Joseph L. Dionne
McGraw-Hill Companies

Richard A. Grasso
Chairman and CEO
New York Stock Exchange

Eugene R. McGrath
Chairman and CEO
Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc.

Featured Gala Awardees

Gala Honorees

2017 Vision and Venture Award IBM, accepted by John Kelly from NYSCI on Vimeo.

Gala Honorees

2017 Distinguished Leadership Award Jennifer Morgan, SAP from NYSCI on Vimeo.

Gala Honorees

2017 Creative Entrepreneurship Award Frans Johansson, The Medici Group from NYSCI on Vimeo.

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